Darts into data: Leveraging random action to competitive advantage

Ever get the feeling upper management is playing darts with the company's strategic direction? Well, thanks to new research from an IBM IT specialist and a 10th grader, you will soon have the technology to incorporate scatter-shot directives directly into the enterprise in real time.

In a paper entitled "Real-time data acquisition: Connecting your exercise bike to Informix or DB2," IBM IT specialist Marty Lurie and webmaster son Aron Y. Lurie outline the technical means for transforming pedal power into actionable data on the fly.

Equipping an exercise-bike pedal first with a modified computer mouse and later with a Zeemote Bluetooth game controller, Lurie and Lurie created an analog-to-digital converter to turn revolutions on the exercise bike into mouse clicks, which, when focused on a Java window listening for clicks, inserted a time-stamped row into an Informix database via JDBC.

The rest -- transforming the data into real-time reports via JSP, graphics generation, and AJAX -- is detailed in the report. But suffice it to say, by affixing sensors to various regions of a dartboard and tapping Lurie and Lurie's architecture, random courses of action can beget competitive advantage in the enterprise like never before.

Unsure how to weather a potential downturn? Just sharpen your dart tips, let fly, and watch the employment-status cells in your HR database flip to NULL until your cutback target is reached.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.